How To Prevent Zoom University Headaches

“Zoom university” and online schooling has taken a toll on everyone. From Zoom fatigue to the lack of human interaction, online classes have come with a myriad of struggles. For me, a huge hurdle for completing my online classes has been my computer related headaches and minor migraines. I had a head injury around a year and half ago, and one of the lasting effects of my injury is being more prone to headaches and migraines, especially related to screens. Spending too much time on my phone and laptop gives me severe pains where I previously hit my head and can easily make me queasy. Because all of my classes and work are online, I spend a lot of time on my laptop and sometimes need to take a break. 

Disclaimer: I’m obviously not a doctor and every person is different, but here are a few things I have found to be helpful for me when I am trying to ease my screen-related headaches.


  1. 1. Reduce the Blue Light On Your Screen

    When your head hurts, sometimes looking at a screen can feel like you’re staring directly into the sun. There’s evidence that although screens won’t ruin your eyes, they can still cause digital eye strain. I’ve found that turning down my brightness and turning my laptop or phone display settings to a warmer light has helped my eyes.

    Person in bed at night on computer
  2. 2. Yoga

    When I first hit my head and struggled to manage basic day-to-day life, I found Yoga With Adriene’s “Yoga for Migraines” video. I still turn on this video when I’m having headaches because I love it so much and found it to have positive effects. This not only gives me a chance to take a breather from whatever task I’m doing and I’ve found that it actually helps ease the pain. It allows me to take a moment for myself and not focus on anything that might be causing me a headache.

    woman practicing yoga and meditating
  3. 3. Take a Break

    It sounds obvious, but try not to get too stressed about taking a break from your computer and your classes when you need it. If you need to, take a step away from your computer. But make sure you use it wisely-- try to stay away from other electronic distractions like your phone. Instead, try doing something that will help you recharge and feel better. If my headache is really bad, I like lying down with a cooling gel eye mask (similar to this one) and staying away from light.

    woman sitting on the ground with a white sweater and jeans
  4. 4. Eat and Drink Properly

    Making sure that you’re hydrated and well-nourished is always important, especially when you’re not feeling well. Dehydration and undereating are known to cause headaches, and those things may be easy to forget when you’re in a class all day. Make sure to take care of yourself and your body when you’re not feeling well.

  5. 5. Move As Much As You Can Offline

    If possible, try to take notes by hand or print out your readings instead of using your laptop, to reduce the amount of time you are spending on a screen. It might be a pain to print out multiple pages or write everything by hand, but it might help your eyes in the long run!

    Black woman writing at computer desk writing in journal notebook write natural work corporate african